WFISD School Board Approves Plan to Modify School Choice Program

- For years, Wichita Falls parents have been able to choose the public school they want their children to attend despite where they live.

But the way the Choice Program works will soon change. Monday night, Wichita Falls school board members voted four to three in favor of modifying the choice program.

The new program is actually based map that outlines the Secondary School Attendance Zones. It will ensure students attend the junior high and high schools in the zones in which they live. School officials say this will ease over enrollment at schools, like Rider High and McNiel Junior High.

A parent, however, could request a transfer through the School Choice Program, but the number of open spaces in popular schools, like Rider High, would be limited.

Many parents who attended Monday's meeting were not happy with the board's decision and were even more unhappy that the district did not inform the public they planned to vote on the matter.

"For us to have to come up to a random meeting cause they're talking about it and we don't know.  We need to see information in writing," says Brenda Maclagon, a parent who has a child going to the 8th grade.

Many parents were also upset that a motion to delay the start of the attendance zones failed 4 to 3. It would have given parents more time to adjust to the new policy by having it start in the 2016-2017 school year. Now, it will begin in the 2015--2016 school year.

And also, the board voted to reduce the operating capacity for Wichita Falls and Rider High Schools from 1,500 to 1,450 students and reduce the maximum enrollment capacity from 1,550 to 1,500 students.

View a large version of the map.

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